Monday, October 02, 2006

bouchercon highlights

I arrived in Madison Thursday night, but didn't hit the party/conference scene until Friday.

Friday: met sandra ruttan. or rather i accosted sandra ruttan. she was heading for the bathroom. i tried unsuccessfully to get her attention. in a panic i stepped in front of her, held up both hands, and said, "STOP!" note to self: try to find a class that teaches social skills.

now Sandra is a law unto herself, totally unique and totally delightful. You might think you know her from her blog, but Sandra must be experienced in person. in the tipping point, Malcolm gladwell talks about social channel capacity. Sandra's social channel capacity is high as hell. She knows everybody. And not only knows everybody, but somehow keeps track of them and actually remembers what is going on in their lives.

Met Bill Cameron. I really wish I'd had a t-shirt made that said Bill's mentor. "Oh, you're Bill's mentor." "Are you Bill Cameron's mentor?" Hehe! I heard this several times. And LOVED hearing it! A group of us had dinner together. Sandra Ruttan, the wonderful and SO FUNNY Julia Buckley, the delightful David Skibbons, Bill, and myself. Then I finally met Robert Gregory Browne who showed up as we were finishing dinner. He was heading for a party at the edgewater. This is the point where Brett Battles appeared and after some regrouping five of us headed to the bar at the edgewater. There was a party, but I can't even remember who was having it!

On the way we saved brett's life, then arrived at the bar. Here we have a confusion of people. I met the lovely Rebecca Drake and more people. And some more people. I finally met Joe Konrath. He and my twin cities pal Chris Everheart sang a couple of duets. That image is now forever embedded in my brain. OWWWWWW!

End of day one....

Day two. OWWWWWW! Headache. Killer headache.

sandra ruttan was hosting audio interviews. At the bar. People came and went. I mainly sat there with a pounding head and slack mouth. Around 3:00 I started feeling human again. Enter Tribe! Woo-hoo! Wearing a suit and tie in preparation for the banquet. Sandra claimed tribe spanked her. He denied it. you decide. Everyone breaks up for evening plans. There is some discussion of getting together again at the lee child party taking place at an irish pub on the square. I will try to make it, but my head is throbbing again.

That evening: Penguin/NAL dinner at the Harvest Restaurant. It ended up being a wonderful evening. Very relaxing, and a nice break from the frantic conference pace. Lee Goldberg was there, and we were able to discuss the naked bookseller with my editor, who surprisingly had never heard of him. Imagine that! Jeff Shelby of First Offender fame was there, along with Murder, She Wrote writer Donald Bain and the delightful Renee Paley-Bain. Everyone stayed for a couple of hours after the dinner. Lovely all the way around.

The party broke at about 10:30 or 11:00. I walked to the pub. It was packed and I decided I'd had enough for the day and headed back to my hotel which was about a mile away. The next morning I got up and went directly to my panel. Met our gracious moderator Nancy Kopp. Minnesota writers Gary Bush, Bobbye Johnson, and Chris Everheart were nice enough to watch my pathetic attempt at trying to string words together. OWWWWWW! As soon as the panel was done it was off to the signing room. I had to leave the signing early to get back to the hotel, grab my luggage, and head for the airport.
Whew. Flight was on time. my daughter picked me up at the airport. i live ten minutes away. we stopped at noodles for dinner and ate outside. Good to be home.

36 comments:

Kel said...

Wow! lol! Great summary. Sounds like the mingling with on-line friends was fun. Thanks for sharing! Cool about meeting your editor. Hope you guys clicked!

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Anne, it was GREAT to finally meet you. I wish we had had more time to hang out, but I was running all over the place.

The party at the edgewater was the St. Martin's crowd, by the way. Great bunch of people (and I'm not just saying that because they publish me).

bekbek said...

I went to a bunch of sci-fi cons when I was a teen, traveled a bit, and met some really great people. My favorite cons were always the more "industry" things --a little less on the ugly costume side, a little more on the business of writing side. (Mostly, though, I just liked staying at a hotel by myself.)

Reading yours and Bill's reports on Bouchercon, I realize I never thought about what such events were like for the writers, except for them being tired of strangers coming up to them and having to sign stuff all the time. There's another side to it. Just like the fans, you get a chance to meet some of the writers you admire, and that's very cool!

But I can see that one must pack lots of tylenol and dramamine.

jason evans said...

Wow, Sandra must have a photographic memory or something. I have a great memory for faces, but the rest slides off from there.

Sounds like a great time, barring the panel experience. I'll have to remember that move for getting someone's attention. Effective!

Sandra Ruttan said...

So... what you're saying is, I must be experienced to be fully appreciated?

Helen Brenna said...

Sounds like a typical conference, some good, some bad. Glad you made it home in one piece!

Or did you leave part of your throbbing head back there? hehehe

anne frasier said...

kelly, i was kind of nervous about meeting online buddies for the first time, but when we finally met it wasn't at all like a first meet. it was very much hanging out with old friends, which was very cool! people were pretty much who i thought they'd be. there were some additional surprises -- for example julia buckley is SO FUNNY! i didn't know that until i actually met her.

Rob -- st. martin's! yes! and it was GREAT meeting you after all this time. a lovely evening all the way around.

Helen Brenna said...

Anne, I made an assumption, quite possibly incorrectly, that your throbbing head was due to having too much fun singing duets the previous evening. If it wasn't, I'm sorry to be so flippant.

anne frasier said...

bekbek: all the strangers coming up asking for autographs got really tedious. i finally had to start shouting at them to stay back. give me some space! ;)

i was surprised that people actually came to my signing -- and most brought books from home. that AMAZES me. they must pack an extra suitcase with the books they want to have signed.

anne frasier said...

jason, i would definitely recommend using my attention getting technique. try it and let me know how it goes!

sandra -- YES!!! that's EXACTLY what i was saying!!!!

anne frasier said...

helen, you can say anything here!!! if you want to say fuck, you can. :D the throbbing head was actually i think due to the weather. i wish i could say it was because of all the booze i guzzled, but that would be a lie. now the BLEEDING EARS.... that was completely due to the duet. :D

Bill Cameron said...

I think by the time I hit the Reacher party I was down to a couple of micrograms of fuel. I walked around in a daze. Sat in a chair. Almost fell asleep. Spoke with people. I think. But at least I got a travel toothbrush!

And isn't this a cool Word Verification: gaosdeke

angie said...

What a crazy-busy con - just reading this post makes me sleepy. How very cool that you got to meet so many writers & readers, though. And why on earth would you be surprised that folks brought their books to get signed? Now THAT is very cool.

Jer said...

Glad you survived, and even had fun. Jer

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Fuck.

Just cuz you said we could say it.

Helen Brenna said...

Can you believe she said that?

Fuck, fuck, and fuck.

Bill Cameron said...

I was always partial to the line in Get Shorty: "Fuck you, fuck ball." I saw Get Shorty on a plane the first time, and the line had been dubbed, "Screw you, screw ball." The old lady sitting next to me leaned over and said, "I'm pretty sure the actual line is 'fuck you, fuck ball.'"

Indeed!

anne frasier said...

bill, a travel toothbrush! damn!!
are these word verifications anagrams...?
angie, the whole signature/autograph thing has always baffled me! all that aside, you're on my list of have-to-meet people.

thanks, jer. i THINK i'm alive. i'm actually more pooped today than yesterday.

rob and helen: don't make me stop this car. or how about this one: i give you an inch and you take a mile. ;)

bill: LOL!!! hilarious!

Stephen Blackmoore said...

What we really want to know is who got stuffed into a trunk and sold to a Chinese organ merchant in Canada? Not that I've heard any rumours about it, of course. I just wanted to start some.

Brett Battles said...

Great meeting you, Anne. And if I haven't already, thank you for saving my life.

Oh...and, fuck.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I didn't just say fuck. I wore fuck. And I gave fuck. And did it with a smile.

Christa M. Miller said...

"note to self: try to find a class that teaches social skills."

This cracked me up. I like to joke that when I was a police cadet who had come from a (dreadfully) sheltered home, I learned all my social skills from cops. So when we meet, if I grab you by the wrist and throw you on the floor? That's why.

I am so tickled reading all these reports that I can't believe I have to wait another 2 years before I get to do Baltimore. :) Glad you had such a terrific time, even if it was a CROWD!

Bill Cameron said...

Christa, you remind of that day way back in the deeps of time when I was leaving for my first date. My grandmother was visiting, and she came up to me and said, "Now, you don't throw on the ground and jump on top of her. Treat her like a lady first."

First?

Tribe said...

Goddammit....I did not grab that woman's ass!!!

anne frasier said...

stephen, that's a good point. have we taken a head count yet?

brett, it was great meeting you and saving your life. :D

sandra, why didn't i ask you for a fuck? now i'm kicking myself!! damn!

christa, i'm looking forward to that! just be careful of my bad knee, that's all i ask.

bill, your grandmother sounds suspiciously like my twisted grandmother.

anne frasier said...

tribe, is this grabbing episode completely different from the spanking you didn't give?

Jeff said...

"i stepped in front of her, held up both hands, and said, "STOP!"

Not bad at all for an introvert with a headache, Anne. I went to the library and looked this particular method up in a social skills handbook, and it said it is entirely appropriate under the right circumstances. :)

I knew you were going to be as nervous as a caterpillar in a chicken house at the panel discission, but now it's over and you don't have to woory about it anymore. I'm glad your signing was a success.
I know what you mean about being tired after the conference. It took me three or four days to recover from my trip to Thrillerfest.

Christa M. Miller said...

Tribe, you sound suspiciously like Cartman....

Bill, neither of my grandmothers had that sense of humor, but I plan to with my boys!

Anne, I have two bum knees, so I promise I will be careful. Thanks for the warning!

anne frasier said...

jeff, i'm so glad to hear that's an accepted method of interaction. whew! yeah, i think it could take some time to get back to fully-functional mode after the conference.

it's funny to read blogs posted by other people who stayed at the edgewater. so far all have had a shower complaint. :D

anne frasier said...

christa, i also thought he sounded a little like bill clinton. :D but i must add that i do believe tribe is a true gentleman. but fun to tease.

Christa M. Miller said...

For me it was the "Goddammit" that made me think Cartman. But hey, if Tribe does indeed have a southern accent, I could see the Clinton resemblance too. LOL

emeraldcite said...

sounds like it was a blast. wish i was there...

Shesawriter said...

Wonderful summary, Anne. I'm living vicariously through you. LOL!

anne frasier said...

christa...tribe and a southern accent...? no... that would be me. ;)

emeraldcite: keep in mind that these are the highlights! it wasn't chocolate cake and pixy sticks all the time.

shesawriter: i'm living vicariously through me too since i was a zombie for a large portion of the conference. :D

JA Konrath said...

Great meeting you, Anne!

Chris and I have recently recorded an album of acapella Dutch funeral dirges. I'm sending you a CD.

anne frasier said...

joe: funeral dirges????

that's right up my alley! can't wait. :D